Positive Changes in an Unpredictable Time


I’ve been in the travel blogging world since 2004 and running Travel Dudes full time since 2007. Those pioneering days were exciting and the excitement hasn’t stopped.

Professional travel blogging often looks so easy. And it should look like this, as otherwise you would be doing something wrong. But quite often it’s very different behind the scenes. Especially in the early days, when you’re trying to make a living with your business.

Try explaining to your father-in-law that you are getting paid to travel the world. Good luck!  😉

Running a business usually includes many unpredictable things happening.

And not many know how much sh*t I’ve gone through over the last few years and what I’ve experienced. Seven years ago I created the first Social Travel Platform and it was something VERY special. 

The developer version was working nicely… up to the moment we went online.

I was looking forward to shouting out about it with a big bang and then…it went black!

The newly relaunched site was black for a complete week! And it remained ugly for the following months. Even the simplest things didn’t work, like registering new users, though it was built with a content management system which focuses on communities. My developer’s team failed completely and all the money felt wasted. And it was a lot of money! 

We were never able to widely announce what we wanted to present. And I was so proud of the actual concept, as we created something unique and very useful for the traveler.

Instead I had many sleepless nights, waiting for emails from the developers. Trying to rescue and solve the situation. 

This was the biggest crisis I’ve been through as an entrepreneur. For weeks I was only reacting to what was going on, which is a devastating status when running a business. Then one night I woke up with an idea and I went to the computer to send out an email. In the end this email itself didn’t change much, but it was this action which did. It was this moment I started to take control again over the situation. Which was the turning point.

I’ve seen similar behavior during the COVID-19 crisis. By experiencing my own crisis before, I was now able to learn from this, so that we did our best to keep on acting ourselves, instead of reacting to others. This sounds much easier than it is, when the whole industry you work in seemed to collapse around you. But we managed…  more to that later.

So back to the relaunch seven years ago.

At some point we got the website stable, but all the bad coding of the years before had been taken over by the developers instead of creating a new site from scratch. Luckily the traffic stayed around the same, but we couldn’t invest further, as it would have been wasted on a poorly functioning website. So we just kept on fixing stuff. And at this point I can’t thank Erik enough who helped me out with his IT knowledge and experience over the years! He did his magic and we were able to keep on going with the website.

Usually things in life happen for a reason, though quite often you only find out far later.

Apart from Travel Dudes I’ve been working as COO and as a partner of iambassador. This very successful and exciting time is now over. But I’m looking forward to finding out the purpose of this step. And I’m excited about it!

Why?

Because we had a quiet soft-relaunch of Travel Dudes in December. And the best is… the site runs smoothly!

We have been working over the last year on this (actually longer). And though the pandemic has been horrible in many different ways, we invested our time and kept on working hard. 

And we can already see that it was worth it! 

Like so many others, our website’s traffic dropped dramatically when Sars-CoV 2 hit the world and the travel industry. But since our relaunch we’ve seen an increase of over 210% again, which is clearly a result of the good work we have done.

The new site is stable, slimmer, and far better optimized in many different ways and we’re just going to keep improving it. It’s not a Social Travel Platform anymore, but now we are finally able to implement all the ideas I have.

As Travel Dudes, we believe in working hard and in sharing the success.

In all those tough years we’ve been able to grow our business in many different ways. We grew the team and created a new video format, which we then used to produce our own travel show. This has played a big role in the success we had with our Travel Dudes campaigns in the recent years. 

The most important thing is, we did this with passion and lots of fun. 

This was possible thanks to the Travel Dudes dream team, which supported me over so many years and who believed in me.

But in the end, I was only able to achieve all this thanks to my wonderful and strong wife and with the support from my whole family!

And I hope I can still count on this for a little longer…  🙂

… as it’s time to work on great and successful collaborations again!

Travel Dudes has been a community where passionate travelers and bloggers share their travel tips. So far we have imported around 1,000 of the articles and we will keep adding many more.

We want to continue as a community, but in a more exclusive set up and by invitation only. We will start with this in the next few weeks.

We’ll be improving our content strategy and our aim stays to support each other and to provide our audience with valuable travel tips and to help enhance their travel experience.

I also have very big and exciting plans for the next few months! I’m already very excited about this….I can say that much:

It’s going to be special again!

So stay tuned!

And travel on

Melvin









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